(500) Days of Summer: Lessons I’ve Learnt

by Catherine Nicholls
Photo Credit | Graham (https://www.flickr.com/photos/44461337@N06/4670329833/)

Photo Credit | Graham

I’d like to preface this article with the fact that (500) days of summer is one of my favourite movies of all time. I would also like to mention the fact that it made me cry like crazy. It’s a story about love, but it’s not a love story, and though it’s broken my heart more times than I count, it’s so important. Tom and Summer are real, flawed individuals, which somehow makes their inevitable end even crueller. Nevertheless, here are some of the lessons I’ve learned regarding breakups and their aftermath after watching (500) for the thousandth time this year.

Lesson One – Romanticising Does Nothing For Anybody

Look, I’m always a sucker for rose tinted glasses. Looking back over a relationship, it’s so easy to skim over the difficulties and pore over the highlights. And sure, the highlights are wonderful. But they aren’t constant, and they most definitely aren’t perfect. Relationships are just people trying to amble their way through various hurdles, and sometimes they’ll make it and sometimes they won’t.

There’s no point in trying to glorify someone into a whole new plane of existence. Looking at them with expectation will only lead to you getting let down. Not to mention putting unfair pressure on the other party to act in accordance. People mess up and hurt others and make mistakes and there’s no point in acting like that’s not the case. You can’t place that weight of expectation onto someone to be perfect. Putting them on a pedestal is only going to blow up in both of your faces.

Lesson Two – Equally Neither Does Villainising

Listen, after a relationship ends, sometimes the easiest thing to do is just write them off as some horrific monster who eats puppies. But let’s be honest – would you really have dated someone like that in the first place? It’s hard to admit to yourself that they were a good, valuable, interesting person, because now that person’s no longer in your life. But demonising someone won’t get you very far at all.

Maybe it’s easier to just admit to yourself that yes, they were a good person, and now they’re gone. What’s the point in lying to yourself? Accepting reality, yes, is horrible and ugly and unfair, but making up some thinly veiled blame game will only prolong the misery.

Lesson Three – Some Things Just Are

Sometimes it’s not their fault. And it’s not your fault. It just is. And it’s not fair but it’s the way things are. With time, there’ll be growth and there’ll be change. In the meantime, things might be tough. But you’ll be okay. You’ll get your autumn.

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